DUDLEY - Taylen West didn’t run track until his freshman year, but after he got his feet going, he says he quickly fell in love with it. His love for track will be taken to the next level as he heads to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to further his academic and athletic career.
West is a three-sport athlete at Southern Wayne High School who didn’t really think about track until after he decided to try it out. Track went from being a hobby to being a priority in West’s life and he began to take it more seriously the better he got.
“I began to focus on track and it taught me to push myself to a limit that I didn’t think I could go and that’s really why it had such an impact on me. It challenged me in ways that I wasn’t used to,” West said.
West has been seen as a leader for the track team during the last couple of seasons. He leads by voicing his concerns, and according to coach Takisha Vann, “all of our kids respect him for that.”
“He works hard and the work that he puts in shows the other people on the team that if you want to have success, it’s not going to be given to you. You’re going to have to lay the foundation and continue to build,” Vann added.
“Taylen always says that he is going to take care of me. I’m excited that he gets to go to the No. 1 school on his list,” said West’s mom, Latonya Bell. “I hope he enjoys the college life, meets new people and just grows as a person. He’s my baby, but I am extremely proud of him and the work that he has put in.”
West plans on majoring in computer science at UNCW and prefers to focus his studies on game design and animation.
“This is exciting for me,” West said. “I hope this starts a trend for Southern Wayne and it gets more people to respect us because we often get overlooked. This is a big day for all of us.”